The Plein Air Painting (painting in the open air) season has begun, at least in my neck of the woods. The group tends to paint in the morning. I love morning; the long shadows; the golden colors; the cool, quiet air; the sun just beginning to rise over the horizon; the robins singing “cheerily, cheerlup cheerio” and the rooster off in the distance asking, “how-do-you-do?” The air is at that temperature where you can’t decide if you need a jacket or not, but the day feels good and it is only going to get warmer. And of course, my canvas is full of potential.
I have painted several times so far this year, and I thought that my efforts were rather fruitful. Once I got them home, it was interesting to see that the subtleties of the colors had disappeared. It is not a problem, just a challenge, an opportunity for me to ponder what to do differently next time. Off the top of my head, I might try: using a value scale, painting with bolder colors, painting with neutral colors, but mostly determining how to paint when the light on my subject matter and the light on my painting surface is constantly changing. That is the real issue!
I often evaluate the progress of a painting, or my skills, but not so much my business plan. Sure, when I first started I asked other artists many questions and came up with a plan. And then I went with the flow. I was like a coin being dropped into a spiral wishing well, following the force of gravity, and slowly falling down into the vortex. By the way, did you know that Spiral Wishing Wells are the most profitable fund raising device of all time? They also have page about funnel physics.
Artlink Fort Wayne sent out an intriguing announcement about a new program for entrepreneurs. I attended the kick-off meeting, asked Rebecca, the Education and Outreach Director, a ton of questions, and still waivered on whether or not I should enroll. But I felt I needed to refocus and regain control over my plan.
And it was worth it! CO.STARTERS is a facilitator lead, nine-week business development program where entrepreneurs can test their assumptions about their business idea. There were specific topics to be covered each week, and for 7 out of the 9 weeks we had guest speakers – local entrepreneurs and other experts, speak regarding the topic of the week. I had learned some things that I never heard other artists discuss. I enjoyed hearing my classmates work through their ideas and I am excited for everyone. I just feel like everyone will succeed. And even if by chance, one goes through the program and realizes she is on the wrong path, that is immensely valuable too.
Two roads diverged in wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost: from “The Road Not Taken”